Friday, April 3, 2009

Day to Day Rememberance (or, nerding out on NPR)

It’s been two weeks now since one of my favorite radio programs, Day to Day, went off the air. Yet I still find myself feeling expectant around 9 AM, thinking, “oh, yeah, I’m supposed to be doing something right now….” That something always involved making sure I was tuned to Preset Station 2 (KPCC) instead of 3 (KCRW) and turning up the volume knob on my radio so I could hear Madeline, Alex, and Alex over my typing, or cereal crunching, or the traffic outside my car. Now I’ve got BBC News Hour or Morning Becomes Eclectic to toggle between….both good choices, but just not the same somehow.

I remember being excited when I moved to Los Angeles almost three years ago and realizing that I would again be living in a place where the public radio station aired Day to Day. I became enamored of this program when I was at home in Little Rock, where KUAR (89.1 FM!) aired it at noon. I think I liked this show because it listened the way a good website reads: a little hard news, a bit of obscure facts, a dollop of human interest, a pinch of snarky satire. I would hear about people, places, and events on this program that I probably never would have come across on my own. And I could hear about these things while being otherwise productive with my hands and eyes, unlike a book or newspaper. For someone who spends long, silent hours alone in the studio, this kind of aural stimulation is an important reminder of the outside world.

When I moved to Illinois, however, no dice on the D2D front, as neither WILL nor WBEZ aired it. However, during my second year, one of my fellow art grad students realized that we could pick up the AM station from Purdue U. (in West Lafayette, IN) in our studio building. One day I heard that familiar music from behind his closed studio door and immediately had him set me wise on how I, too, could tune in D2D once more. Of course, this station did not come in at my apartment or any other place in town—our studio was in a little radio sweet spot, and maybe that helped encourage me to get there a little earlier in the day than I would have otherwise.

I don’t have a good ending to this post, other than to say that I miss Day to Day very much. It has been a faithful and constant companion in my studio, in my car, and at my desk. So although I continue to be a loyal NPR listener (and member too! Support public radio and get a fabulous logo grocery tote like I did!), I now have one hour of listening to look forward to a little bit less.

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